Live performances have begun again in South Florida, after a six-month-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although musicians and music venue owners are happy they get to resume their activities, things are far from back to normal for those in the industry.
“It was hard for us not to be able to afford some of the bands that were near and dear to us,” said Ben Koufopoulos, owner of Bar Nancy in Little Havana.
Bar Nancy is known for live music and stand up comedy performances. During Miami-Dade County’s lockdown, they managed to stay open by providing food and beverage take-out service. Although they were one of the first to resume live events again, they’re still struggling financially according to Koufopoulos.
They can’t afford to pay some of the bands that used to regularly perform at the venue.
Musicians feel “overlooked” according to local artist and band member Eric Garcia.
“They think music is like just some fun thing we do on the side, but this is our livelihood,” Garcia said. “When they were doing the 50% capacity thing, we would play a show and the venue would say, ‘hey we only have 50% capacity, can we pay you half?”
Musicians have also had to deal with long waitlists, to even get a performance spot at some venues.
Other places hosting live events include Lagniappe in the Midtown and Base Camp in Little Haiti.
The South Florida Music scene continues to be affected by the pandemic, even though restrictions against gatherings and performing have been lifted.